Oct 23, 2023 - Energy & Environment

Scoop: White House ups clean jobs tally as Biden feels heat on the economy

Data: White House; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: White House; Chart: Axios Visuals

The White House is launching new efforts to tout private sector investments in climate-friendly power generation — and make the information accessible at the project level.

Driving the news: Officials are today adding "clean" generation projects — like solar, wind and storage — to the Invest.gov site launched in June that maps various kinds of investments.

  • There's also a new analysis, via Heather Boushey of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, on project and job growth during President Biden's tenure.

The big picture: It comes as Biden looks to sell his economic record, where polling is increasingly worrisome for the incumbent ahead of the 2024 election.

  • Axios Pro has chronicled Democrats' struggles to sell the climate law in the face of pressure from both the right and left.

Zoom in: Per the White House and Boushey's blog post...

  • Since January 2021, private companies have announced plans for 94 gigawatts in "clean" projects as of August, an estimated $133 billion in investment and enough to power over 15 million homes.
  • Employment in power generation is up roughly 7% from January 2021 to March 2023, with gains in "clean" power outpacing fossil job declines (see the chart above).
  • During that time, the economy added roughly 21,000 jobs in generation, transmission and distribution. Note: this does not include construction.

Quick take: It's tough to isolate specific causes. Renewables have long been rising, and Biden's term has coincided with the economy's emergence from COVID.

  • But the White House calls the climate law and the CHIPS and Science Act major drivers, noting more than half the job gains occurred since they were enacted in August 2022.
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